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Popular Articles

Auto-Ignition of Ultrasonic Couplants During Thickness Gauging and Corrosion Mapping
July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Gene Larson at ECHO Ultrasonics

This article details the basis for the lack of understanding about the potential for ultrasonic couplant auto-ignition and outlines an ALARP operating practice for mitigation.

July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Guy Bogar at HollyFrontier - Tulsa Refinery

Turnarounds operate at a different pace than routine work. Most plant-based inspection departments have historically struggled with Turnaround document control, such as integrating contractor reports into their routine data management system. Our solution was to execute RBI updates in real time during Turnaround execution.

Detection of Defects and Corrosion Under Pipe Supports and Inaccessible Areas Using EMAT Medium Range UT Techniques
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Borja Lopez at Innerspec Technologies, Inc.

In the last few years, electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) has come to prominence for its ability to quickly scan exposed pipelines for corrosion, cracks, and other defects using medium-range guided waves and without the requirement for liquid couplants.

Embracing a New Approach to Retroactive PMI
July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Brian Wilson at Thermo Fisher Scientific

The instrumentation available to detect inadvertent material substitutions through positive material identification (PMI) has never been more available, portable or powerful than it is today. For one industrial services company, Tacten Industrial, Inc., embracing the latest technological advances in PMI while using rope access to conduct inspections has helped to transform their business. It has found the ideal formula for retroactive PMI that allows its team and its clients to rest assured that they’ve conducted their testing right – the first time.

Piping Vibration Assessments
July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Jacob Manuel, P.E. at Stress Engineering Services, Inc., and Ralph E. King P.E. at Stress Engineering Services, Inc.

An overview of process piping vibration and evaluating piping systems in vibration service to reduce harmful vibrations.

The Application of Response Surface Methodology in Modeling Corrosion Rates
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mohammed Siddiqui at Air Liquide

The main intention of this article is to introduce the Response Surface Methodology (RSM) using some of the elements of critical thinking as a guide. This methodology is not often used in the industry, but can be widely used by corrosion/process engineers to identify hot spots where local maximums of corrosion rates exist.

Improving Confidence in On-Stream Inspections of Pressure Equipment
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Dr. Yury Sokolov at SVT Engineering Consultants

RBI and NII are designed to achieve significant cost savings and risk mitigation benefits over a piece of equipment’s lifetime in the long term (e.g. through greater reliability and inspection optimization). It is important to strategically consider new NDE technologies to obtain data of sufficient confidence to satisfy the requirements of the risk model.

Common Joint Integrity Challenges on CAPEX Projects
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Neil Ferguson at Hydratight

Large scale capital projects present a myriad of challenges for owner-users in the oil and gas and petrochemical industries. Budgets are constantly being stretched and project deadlines are often exceeded. One area that deserves attention from all parties involved is joint integrity management.

What Is Refractory?
July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Jackson Espinoza at Sentinel Integrity Solutions

An explanation of refractory including its uses and recent advancements in abrasion-resistant materials, dry-out/cure times, improved installation methods, and anchoring systems.

Ultrasonic Phased Array Tools for  High-Resolution Corrosion Inspection
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By André Lamarre at Olympus Scientific Solutions Americas

This article highlights the evolution of corrosion monitoring from conventional ultrasonic to ultrasonic phased array manual and automated solutions and their use for both general purposes and complex applications.

What’s your definition of risk?
Partner Content

PinnacleART’s engineers and inspectors can help your facility define, prioritize and mitigate risks within your facility. Let our team build, implement and maintain a comprehensive mechanical integrity and RBI program for your pressure vessels, heat exchangers, towers, storage tanks, piping, pump casings, pressure relief valves, critical check valves and more. Contact us at 281-598-1330 to learn more.

July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Grady Hatton at Versa Integrity Group, and Melissa Guerra at Chevron Products Company

Many plants inspect PRDs on preset intervals as recommended by inspection code API 510, and implement inspection practices such as API RP 576. Just seeking PRD compliance with codes and standards usually results in mediocre mechanical integrity and process safety. Companies must go further to climb the ladder to “excellence.”

May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

This paper identifies the attributes and benefits of a data and metrics-driven management system focused on process safety design integrity and reliability relative to loss of primary containment (LOC). This management system process focuses on the four key business drivers of risk (i.e. regulatory compliance, operations, and profits), and involves several distinct business methods involving people, processes, and tools/technology.

My Inspection App Can Do What?
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Barbara Lasseigne at Envoc

You probably already know that inspection apps for tablets and smart phones exist, and have notions of how these technologies can improve efficiencies in the field and beyond.

July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Neil Ferguson at Hydratight

Joint integrity management remain at the top of many operators’ priority list.  The discipline considers risk and drives safety to ensure we learn necessary lessons from past catastrophic failures, such as the Piper Alpha explosion in 1988, where leaking gas condensate ignited and killed 167 of the 229 people on board the offshore rig.

Creating an Effective Inspection  Recommendation Management System
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mark Bell at Ethos Mechanical Integrity Solutions, and John Reynolds at Intertek

We have seen many different inspection recommendation management systems. Most of them struggle to effectively manage all inspection recommendations. However, a few of them are excellent. What makes an effective system?

Inspect Yourself into Outstanding Performance
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Grady Hatton at Versa Integrity Group, Donald Brou at Capitol Ultrasonics, and Joe Nichols at Valero Energy

When heading down the path of becoming an inspection professional, it’s helpful to understand the characteristics that truly make someone an outstanding inspector.

Advancements in Positive Material Identification Tools Bring Accuracy and Convenience to the Work Site
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mark Lessard at Thermo Fisher Scientific

In numerous industries that require elemental and material testing, including the oil and gas, power generation, and petrochemical industries, positive material identification (PMI) is at the forefront of any operation. In fact, an increasing number of facilities are adopting a 100% PMI program to ensure that every metal component is made up of exactly the desired chemical composition.

Ultrasonic Sensor System for Wall-Thickness Monitoring
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Dr. James N. Barshinger at Sensor Networks, Inc., Bruce A. Pellegrino at Sensor Networks, Inc., and Michael Nugent at Equity Engineering Group

While there are many methods for measuring equipment wall thickness, a predominant method used in the O&G and power generation industries is portable ultrasonic equipment. Ultrasonic testing is non-intrusive because it is applied to the outside of a pipe or vessel. It is an accurate and relatively low cost non-destructive examination (NDE) method to deploy in most situations.

Recording Thickness Data During Thickness Monitoring Inspections
September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By A.C. Gysbers at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc.

This article addresses a debate mechanical integrity professionals in the O&G and Chemical Processing industries periodically have about how thickness data gathered during a thickness monitoring inspection (TMI) should be recorded.

The Use of Miniature Test Specimens in  Fitness-for-Service Evaluation
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Douglas Marriott at Stress Engineering Services Inc., Shannon Read at Stress Engineering Services Inc., and Arun Sreeranganathan at Stress Engineering Services Inc.

Aging equipment, along with more aggressive service, makes it more important than ever to carry out fitness-for-service (FFS) assessments in support of run/repair/replace decisions. Testing material in the service-degraded condition enables quantification of the material condition and provides increased accuracy in FFS evaluations of these components.

Does your AIM system optimize the consistency, accuracy and manageability of your facility’s Mechanical Integrity program?
Partner Content

AIM systems should ensure that the your facility’s MI software is accurately performing the calculations needed to calculate minimum thickness, long/short term corrosion rates and remaining life used to predict future inspection intervals. They should evaluate your MI software’s basic design and corrosion monitoring variables.

Clearing out the Data Clutter: How well-maintained data can add value to your reliability program
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Jeffrey Foushee at Pinnacle Advanced Reliability Technologies, and Ryan Myers at Pinnacle Advanced Reliability Technologies

Data, in pure form, consists of raw, unorganized facts that need to be processed. Data can be found in databases, documents, drawings, reports, spreadsheets, and numerous other sources. Having data on hand is useful, however, it’s often inefficient and counterproductive to make decisions based on data in its raw form.

Effectively and Efficiently Cleaning Heat Exchangers, Part III
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Harold Marburger at Dunn Heat Exchangers

Heat exchangers operating in refineries or petrochemical plants must be thoroughly cleaned and inspected throughout their operational lifetime to ensure safe and efficient operations.

Insights Into Fixed Equipment Vibration – How a Piping System Was Affected by Flow-Induced Vibration
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Dr. Reza Azizian at Engineering & Inspection Services, LLC, and Paolo Torrado at Engineering and Inspection Services, LLC.

Excessive vibration is a problem frequently encountered in industrial plants and their peripheral equipment, including piping systems, pressure vessels, and steel structures. Long term excessive vibration can lead to fatigue crack propagation and consequently, may cause system failure.

Reliability and Integrity – Keys to Survival
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Khulani Ndimande at ABB Consulting, and Fernando Vicente at ABB Consulting

This article highlights several benefits of sound reliability and mechanical integrity practices and how they serve as the cornerstone of effective asset management. Moreover, we believe effective asset integrity management is not only important, but essential, to overcoming the challenges presented by operating in the current oil and gas market.

Digital Radiography of Welds Using Flat Panel Detector Base Image Sensors
July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Sanjoy Das at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, and D. Mukherjee at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre

The structural integrity of components is controlled by material properties, the presence of flaws, and levels of applied stress. Several factors such as temperature, type of loading, toughness, corrosion resistance, micro-structural stability, cost etc. dictate the suitable material for the desired application.

On-Stream Thickness Monitoring Versus Conventional Inspection in Refineries
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Dr. Jake Davies at Permasense Ltd.

Fixed equipment in a refinery can be susceptible to corrosion from the process side, necessitating an inspection strategy to understand the condition of that equipment. Online measurement of pipe and pressure vessel wall thickness is made possible by installing wireless, semi-permanent thickness monitoring sensors.

Powering Impressed Current Cathodic Protection – Part 2
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Gary Mulcahy at Astrodyne TDI

This is the second article of a two-part series published in Inspectioneering Journal, which is intended to provide a basis for understanding the differences between traditional tapped-transformer, fixed voltage type rectifiers, and High Frequency Switched Mode (HFSM) units, as well as highlight some opportunities for optimization provided by HFSM.

Advanced NDT for Plant Life Assessment
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mike Brown at Sentinel Integrity Solutions

While there are many types of advanced NDT, this article will focus on the use of acoustics and electromagnetism as the bases for conducting examinations.

Maintenance Strategies for Aboveground Storage Tanks in Crude Oil Service - Part II
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Melissa Ramkissoon at Petrotrin

In Part 1 of this 2-part series, published in the July/August 2015 issue of Inspectioneering Journal, I discussed corrosion control methods and some effective techniques for inspecting ASTs, and also identified several root causes of AST failures in crude oil service. In this second installment, I will briefly review the costs associated with AST failures and discuss maintenance strategies to help prevent and/or mitigate predictable and unforeseen incidents.

The Importance of Selecting the Appropriate Inspection Method
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mike Brown at Sentinel Integrity Solutions

It is often best to rely on properly trained and experienced inspection service providers to determine the proper method for any inspection project. Thus, inspection companies can suggest utilizing the most effective and efficient inspection techniques that will result in the highest probability of detection (POD), while potentially saving the facility operators’ time, effort, and capital.

How to get Heat Exchangers "Inspection Clean"
Partner Content

Optimal cleaning to an "inspection clean" status ensures operational efficiency and a longer duration between heat exchanger cleaning requirements. Fouling left behind after inadequate cleaning activities will attract additional fouling at a greater pace once put back into service, leading to reduced heat transfer and a negative impact on production.

What Does Reliability Mean in 2016?
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Walt Sanford at PinnacleART

Inspectioneering recently had an opportunity to sit down with Walt Sanford, President and COO of Pinnacle Advanced Reliability Technologies, and discuss what Reliability means to his clients and others in our industry. We hope you find the exchange interesting and informative.

Fired Heater Health Monitoring and  Reliability Management in Challenging Times
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Tim Hill at Quest Integrity Group

Achieving fired heater reliability in conjunction with meeting performance standards can be a challenging feat. Performance is a measure of the degree to which the fired heater is in an operable condition at any given time.

July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mike Johnston at T. A. Cook Consultants, Inc.

This article will examine what can occur during the course of a Front Line Supervisor’s day that may hinder the execution of their expected duties, and what can be put in place to overcome those obstacles.

Advanced Pipeline Management Software Can Reduce Risks and Improve your Bottom Line
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Vipin Nair at Meridium

Pipeline management remains fraught with safety risks for operators and the environment. Last year, the Ontario Energy Board determined that a $12 billion oil pipeline proposed by TransCanada Corp. would pose more risks than rewards for the province.

Highlights from API’s 2016 Spring Refining Standards Meeting: Subcommittee on Inspection (SCI)
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

This brief article contains updates and highlights related to the Subcommittee on Inspection (SCI) at the 2016 API Spring Refining Equipment and Standards Meeting.

September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Virginia Edley at Trinity Bridge, LLC.

If everyone in an industrial setting actively looked for things that were not right or seemed different, or looked at small mistakes as opportunities to prevent larger ones, what would the future look like?

Composite Repairs for Offshore Pipelines
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By David A. Hunter at Neptune Research, Inc.

This study provides valuable information for offshore pipeline operators curious about how composite repair systems could be utilized with their assets.

September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Harold Marburger at Dunn Heat Exchangers

This article is Part II of a three-part series that explores the various methods, benefits, challenges and solutions to efficiently and effectively clean heat exchangers, both onsite and offsite.

A Tale of Two Operating Sites – The Difference in Quality of Two FEMI Programs
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

Once upon a time in the land of Ooze, there were two processing plants that boiled oil to make fuels and various other valuable petrochemical products. On one side of the river, rests a site called Perfecto Process Plant, while just across the river lies another plant called InZayna Zylum.

High Temperature Hydrogen Attack (HTHA): Life Assessment Methods for Carbon Steel and Carbon 0.50% Mo Materials
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Ralph E. King P.E. at Stress Engineering Services, Inc., and Brian Olson at Stress Engineering Services Inc.

To ensure the mechanical integrity and fitness-for-service (FFS) of equipment, facility managers, reliability engineers, and inspection technicians must understand the HTHA damage mechanism.

Have you determined whether or not your equipment is subject to Brittle Fracture?
Partner Content

Auto-refrigeration can impose low temperatures onto process vessels and piping causing them to be at risk of brittle fracture, the sudden break-before leak phenomena that can result in catastrophic rupture of the equipment.

An Overview of ISO 55000 - Standardizing Asset Management
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Walt Sanford at PinnacleART

Maximizing return on investment of physical assets, while at the same time operating safely and in an environmentally responsible manner is now more critical than ever for organizations within the heavy process industries.

September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Nick Harwood at Aetos Group, and Aaron Cook at Aetos Group

This article is intended to provide some helpful insights when it comes to Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs), and to hopefully put you on the path to safer and more cost-effective inspections utilizing UAS technologies.

Dry-Coupled Ultrasonic Testing: An Effective, Yet Underutilized NDE Method
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Borja Lopez at Innerspec Technologies, Inc.

While they is very efficient and popular, liquid couplants used for ultrasonic inspection have some inherent limitations and disadvantages. An alternative method to using liquid couplant is Dry-Coupled Ultrasonic Testing (DCUT).

Remaining Life Sensitivity to Longitudinal Weld Seam Peaking in High-temperature Low Chrome Piping
July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Phillip E. Prueter at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc., Jonathan D. Dobis at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc., Mark Geisenhoff at Flint Hills Resources, and Dr. Michael S. Cayard at Flint Hills Resources

This article summarizes a recent finite element analysis (FEA)-based study that employs creep simulation techniques to investigate the elevated temperature response of piping with peaked longitudinal weld seams.

Keys to Success: How to Design and Use Effective Reliability and Integrity Program Assessments to Drive Sustainable Improvements
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Walt Sanford at PinnacleART, and Mauricio Olivares at Pinnacle ART

Equipment integrity and reliability programs are essential for refinery and chemical facility operators. The processes of the programs are developed to ensure safety, optimize component life cycles, and promote smooth and economical operations.

Laying Off “Safety”: Managing Knowledge Transfer Through the Downturn to Maintain Industry Best Practices
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Fletcher at North Highland Worldwide Consulting, and Josh Arceneaux at North Highland Worldwide Consulting

It is estimated that there have been more than 250,000 layoffs in the oil and gas industry since the price of oil began to drop precipitously in late 2014. With oil not expected to rebound significantly for at least the next year or so, we should be ready for even more workforce reductions. In addition, there is the ongoing reality of baby boomers retiring from the workplace – also known as the impending shift or crew change.

November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Rick Eckert at DNV GL - North America Oil & Gas

Understanding the common factors that promote corrosion threats in the oil and gas value chain helps operators create effective inspection strategies.

A Roadmap to Spare Parts Optimization
September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Brad Moore at PinnacleART

Operators in all industries are trying to increase equipment availability, yet oftentimes critical process equipment is not available due to planned or unplanned maintenance. To increase equipment availability, steps must be taken to reduce downtime. One way to achieve this is to ensure that spare parts are organized and available in the event repairs are needed.

September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Shana Telesz at GE Measurement & Control

While computed tomography (CT) scans are common and well-known as a critical evaluation tool in the medical field, they are becoming increasingly important in industrial settings. Recent automation, speed, and accuracy developments are driving the migration of CT technology onto the production floor.

OSHA Communication Rules Can Help Control Corrosion
September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Nolan L. Miller at SASOL North American Operations, and Marc McConnell, P.E. at Versa Integrity Group

If we could measure, understand, mitigate, and most importantly, control corrosion, we can do a better job of keeping the product in the pipes. To accomplish this task, we needed to know what is causing the corrosion and how to control it.

Heat Exchanger Repair: What you need to know?
Partner Content

Heat exchangers are vital pieces of process equipment for all refineries and petrochemical plants. When one goes down or is running at reduced efficiency, operators can lose a lot of money. Whether repairs can be made onsite or require offsite work, it is important to have a trusted service provider that possesses the experience and equipment to make the needed repairs quickly.

SAFER Inspectioneering
September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Paul J. Ramirez at NASA - Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The Quality Assurance Engineer (QAE) provides a safety net for mission-critical hardware. The variety and complexity of hardware, and the many dimensions of the QA inspection process, combine in such a manner that even the most experienced QAE may miss problems.

November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

This article provides a summary of the Subcommittee on Inspection (SCI) discussions that occurred at the Fall 2015 API Refining Standards Meeting, including the Inspection Summit Planning Committee and the API ICP Task Group.

Standardized Pipeline Risk Comparison and Prediction
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Craig Alan Swift, P.E. at Bureau Veritas

The objective of this article is to demonstrate the inherent value of an interactive and detailed GIS landscape, emphasize the importance of industry standardization, and encourage regulatory agencies and operators to systematize and incorporate these technologies to produce a standardized basis of observation for these independently operated systems.

2015 is behind us – Let’s Look Ahead
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

The enormous decline in oil prices over the past 14 months has definitely slowed projects and changed the energy and production landscape. Despite this, refineries, petrochemical plants, and chemical facilities must continue to run safely, responsibly, and reliably.

January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mike Johnston at T. A. Cook Consultants, Inc.

It is a generally accepted fact that most Front Line Supervisors (FLS) come up “from the ranks” of the hourly staff. However, most companies provide neither training nor any type of preparation or guidance for the person they have now placed in a supervisory role.

The Evolution of Reliability:  A Q&A with  Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton
September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Jeremiah Wooten at Inspectioneering, LLC.

Inspectioneering recently had the opportunity to sit down with Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton and discuss the evolution of reliability in the oil and gas industry.

Fitness for service: a powerful tool to keep your plant running safely
Partner Content

FFS assessment techniques are applicable to a wide range of damage types: LTA's, cracks, creep damage, dents, and more. These are very powerful analytical tools that often allow operators to not only keep the plant running, but to keep it running safely.

What’s your definition of risk?
Partner Content

PinnacleART’s engineers and inspectors can help your facility define, prioritize and mitigate risks within your facility. Let our team build, implement and maintain a comprehensive mechanical integrity and RBI program for your pressure vessels, heat exchangers, towers, storage tanks, piping, pump casings, pressure relief valves, critical check valves and more. Contact us at 281-598-1330 to learn more.